Penn Press at AIA SCS 2023

Penn Press & Penn Museum
at AIA SCS 2023

In the Manner of the Franks

In the Manner of the Franks

Hunting, Kingship, and Masculinity in Early Medieval Europe

by Eric J. Goldberg

63 illus.

  • Hardcover
  • 9780812252354
  • Published: October 2020



Eric J. Goldberg traces the long history of early medieval hunting from the late Roman Empire to the death of the last Carolingian king, Louis V, in a hunting accident in 987. He focuses chiefly on elite men and the changing role that hunting played in articulating kingship, status, and manhood in the post-Roman world. While hunting was central to elite lifestyles throughout these centuries, the Carolingians significantly altered this aristocratic activity in the later eighth and ninth centuries by making it a key symbol of Frankish kingship and political identity. This new connection emerged under Charlemagne, reached its high point under his son and heir Louis the Pious, and continued under Louis's immediate successors. Indeed, the emphasis on hunting as a badge of royal power and Frankishness would prove to be among the Carolingians' most significant and lasting legacies.

Goldberg draws on written sources such as chronicles, law codes, charters, hagiography, and poetry as well as artistic and archaeological evidence to explore the changing nature of early medieval hunting and its connections to politics and society. Featuring more than sixty illustrations of hunting imagery found in mosaics, stone sculpture, metalwork, and illuminated manuscripts, In the Manner of the Franks portrays a vibrant and dynamic culture that encompassed red deer and wild boar hunting, falconry, ritualized behavior, female spectatorship, and complex forms of specialized knowledge that united kings and nobles in a shared political culture, thus locating the origins of courtly hunting in the early Middle Ages.